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Rosen's mailbag - Oct. 15, 2014

by Dan Rosen / NHL.com

Here is the Oct. 15 edition of Rosen's weekly mailbag, which will run every Wednesday during the season. If you have a question, tweet it to @drosennhl and use #OvertheBoards.

Let's get to it:

What do you think about a Tyler Myers trade? Is it the right move for the Buffalo Sabres? Which teams should be interested? -- @LundStian

How long have we been hearing about Myers getting traded out of Buffalo? Three years? Maybe two? It seems inevitable that it's going to happen, and I'd be OK with it from a Sabres standpoint.

Myers still is a young defenseman at 24 years old, but he's in his sixth season and he's been underwhelming and mistake-prone for the past four. He has talent that still is salvageable, but it might take a fresh start in a winning environment to get the best out of Myers.

The Sabres are struggling, as expected. They are rebuilding. Normally you'd like to rebuild around a 6-foot-8, 219-pound defenseman who can skate, move the puck and who should be coming into his prime. But Myers may not be able to become a top defenseman in Buffalo.

If Buffalo looks to trade him, and there are several reports indicating the Sabres are talking to teams about Myers, it needs to get more young assets in return. Those could be draft picks or prospects. The Sabres can't have enough draft picks and prospects at this stage of their rebuild.

Myers' $5.5 million salary-cap charge is a hiccup, but since it's early in the season the Sabres likely would have to take on a contract or two in return to make a trade work. As long as it's an expiring contract or one that belongs to a good, young player, that shouldn't be a problem.

The Detroit Red Wings should jump in to the Myers mix with both feet. The Philadelphia Flyers should too, but the salary cap might prevent them from doing anything during the season.

Will the Pittsburgh Penguins look to move Paul Martin sooner rather than later for a top-six forward, making room for Derrick Pouliot or Scott Harrington? -- @azzurri0108

That's not something I would consider right now. I would not tinker with the defense and make it younger and less experienced just to add another scorer to a lineup that already has a lot of firepower.

The Penguins use Martin in all situations and as a top-pair defenseman with Olli Maatta. It's hard to replace those minutes, particularly when you're talking about bringing a young defenseman into the lineup.

Martin is in the last season of his contract, but the Penguins should be in the race for first in the Metropolitan Division (they're the favorites) and I would not mess with that. They may not re-sign him in the offseason, but they shouldn't trade him just because his contract is expiring.

Pouliot and Harrington will have their chance, but it can't hurt to continue to develop while waiting.

Do you think the New Jersey Devils are going to continue scoring or will they eventually drop off like last year? -- @AlexGrablauskas

Their offense predictably dropped off Tuesday, but that was more of what we have come to expect from the Devils as they beat the Tampa Bay Lightning 2-1. Eleven goals in the first two games looked good on the Devils, but it also was unsustainable. It's unsustainable for any team in the NHL.

If the Devils can average close to three goals per game (about 2.70 or higher) it should be good enough to get in the Stanley Cup Playoffs provided their penalty kill remains one of the best in the League.

I picked New Jersey to make the playoffs because off their beefed up offense with Mike Cammalleri, and if he stays healthy Marty Havlat.

Does Zach Parise have a shot at MVP this season? -- @TNIFKE

Parise is a gamer. It's hard not to love his game. He has far more skill than he's given credit for, but he scores because he's always around the net, always forechecking, always attacking. That said, I'd be surprised if he was in the race for the Hart Trophy.

He doesn't score enough to contend with the likes of Sidney Crosby, Alex Ovechkin, Steven Stamkos, Corey Perry, Claude Giroux, Ryan Getzlaf and John Tavares, among others.

If Parise stays healthy and has 30 goals and around 70-75 points, it will be a successful season for him on a personal basis and the Wild will make the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Those are team MVP numbers, but they're not League MVP numbers.

Do the St. Louis Blues have enough depth and physicality on defense to really compete with the best teams in the West? -- @DSBerk

Yes, but it's not only because of the depth and physicality they have on defense.

The Blues are at their best when playing in units of five (coach-speak, I know). They are at their best when they're attacking on the forecheck to keep the puck in the offensive zone. They do that with physical forwards like David Backes, Alexander Steen, T.J. Oshie and Patrik Berglund as much as they do it with their defensemen.

Coach Ken Hitchcock wants his players to get after the puck and to get it back when they don't have it. He doesn't care if they deliver thunderous hits. He just wants them to get the puck however they can get it.

If you look at the top teams in the Western Conference they are deep and big down the middle with mobile defense units. The Blues have those attributes.

Who's been the biggest surprise performer one week in to the season? -- @Emasty10

It has to be New York Islanders forward Brock Nelson, who has seven points in three games. He has a goal in each of the games, including two in the season-opening win against the Carolina Hurricanes. The Islanders are 3-0 and have 15 goals; Nelson has been on the ice for nine.

When you think of the Islanders offense you think of John Tavares and Kyle Okposo, the prospect of what Ryan Strome can do, and of course the additions of Johnny Boychuk and Nick Leddy. Now you have to think of Nelson. He is making the most of a great opportunity.

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